Updated: May 13, 2020
I just recently had a conversation with my friends about how I have been extremely disinterested in casually dating. It's not that I'm not open to anything happening, nor is it that I am purposely not looking. I am just not drawn to that anymore - and for me, that's a perplexing change of heart.
In the past, I hate to admit that I would use dating or seeing people as a way to solidify my sense of self. I enjoyed going out with new people, getting to know them, and experience the sense of validation that comes with that. But now, I'm not interested in that. I would much rather spend quality time with my girls and lie in bed and watch TV.
But what? What changed?
Nothing changed, per se. But one thing my friend said really captured everything I'm feeling perfectly. The past two years, I've been fighting for recovery and truly finding a sense of self. In this process, I've learned about my emotions, the way my mind works, my insecurities, my coping mechanisms, my fears, and my truth. I've learned so incredibly much about myself and the way the mind works, that to have shallow conversations doesn't interest me anymore.
I am not saying this from a place of entitlement. I am by no means saying that I think I'm better than any prospects out there and no one deserves my time. Not at all.
Instead, I believe that I have just cultivated a sense of self that not all people my age have had the opportunity to do so. That's not saying my struggles and fights make me a better and more mature person. Instead, my experiences and fight for recovery has allowed me to learn about the world, which is a blessing.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to hear about your life, your story, your current stresses and problems. I would love to help you work through them, but now I have noticed the discrepancy in problems faced and stressors between myself and others my age. I'm in college, yes. I always believed that I was going to meet my lifelong partner in college, but I no longer believe that. I believed that I was going to live the "American Dream" and make a bunch of college friends, constantly go out, get drunk, meet a lot of boys, and live up to the American stereotype. Yes, I have done these things, but it's strange for me to be in a place where those expectations for my experience at college no longer influence my actions.
I don't feel the pressure to be the president of a sorority, showcase all my best beautiful friends, be a frat star, live with 8 other girl friends, and constantly go clubbing. Hell, I've been in London for 3 weeks now, and have not gone out once. Wow that sounds way more sad than I intended for it to. I just don't have the desire to do so anymore? Dating other people my age doesn't interest me because our priorities may no longer align. Same with befriend some other girls my age. Obviously this isn't a sweeping generalization, and I don't mean to come across as entitled. I just wanted to think through and process things I didn't know were at play in my life, though I noticed how it influenced my actions and the people I have chosen to be around.
I will still go out, date, and have fun. I'm not trying to be black and white about this, and have instead found comfort in the grey (something I've always struggled with). I'll still go out for drinks, talk to people, and travel as much as I can. But maybe I am not doing these things as much as I would if I were still affected by the expectations people around me may have.